Over the past decade, Myanmar has made strong commitments to support the rights of people with disabilities (PWDs), however there continue to be barriers preventing those with disabilities from accessing basic social services. Studies have found that the rate of disability caused by accidents and health conditions is increasing nationwide, resulting in a large unmet need for healthcare, rehabilitation, and psychosocial support. These needs disproportionately affect members of often-excluded populations such as women, children, and ethnic minorities and are particularly acute for people living in areas of the country which are prone to conflict, like Kachin State.
The Community Focused Rehabilitation Services in Kachin State project aims to address these challenges by improving access and opportunities for victims of conflict and other PWDs in northern Myanmar. Building off of the USAID Okard project in Laos, the project is piloting a case management system to better understand and document the needs of people with disabilities—regardless of cause, gender, or ethnicity—and connect them with health and rehabilitation service providers. Through family-centered guidance from a trained case manager, people will be supported to sustain their optimal functional ability and independent living. At the same time, the project also works with communities to raise awareness about disability and dismantle the stigmas and barriers facing PWDs.
World Education is implementing the Community Focused Rehabilitation in Kachin State project with two local non-governmental organizations in Kachin State: the Kachin Baptist Convention and the Kachin Physically Handicapped Association. World Education is supporting both organizations to strengthen their ability to run disability-inclusive programs.